…President speech will be the last one – Secondus
…Keyamo: No, Buhari will have easy win in 2019
Less than 24 hours after President Muhammadu Buhari addressed the nation, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the Democracy Day address as uninspiring, hollow, full of self-praise and false performance claims, without addressing issues agitating the minds of Nigerians.
The party while stressing that President Buhari was celebrating his last Democracy Day in office as a sitting president added that the address was seasoned with a list of phantom projects and “executive regurgitation,” inherently designed by President Buhari’s handlers to sway Nigerians and divert attention from the many failures of this administration.
But the federal government has said that the commemoration of this year’s Democracy Day is a celebration of freedom, a salute to the resilience and determination of Nigerians and a recommitment by Government to keep its promise to lead Nigeria into a new era of justice and prosperity.
President Buhari had in his Deomcracy Day address, said that public safety and security remains the primary duty of this Government.
Buhari said, ‘’Before this Administration came into being 3 years ago, Boko Haram held large areas of land spanning several Local Governments in the North East.
‘’Today, the capacity of the insurgents has been degraded leading to the re-establishment of authority of government and the release of captives including, happily, 106 Chibok and 104 Dapchi girls, and over 16,000 other persons held by the Boko Haram’’.
On the fight against corruption, Buhari said that his administration through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has recovered of Billions of Naira, as well as forfeiture of various forms of assets.
“This, alongside other efforts, has improved Nigeria’s international image and regional cooperation,” he stated.
Buhari also said that his administration has retained the services of one of the world’s leading assets tracing firms to investigate and trace assets globally.
He said, ‘’This is in addition to the exploitation of provisions of existing Treaties, Conventions as well as Bilateral Agreements with Multilateral bodies and nations. Nigeria has also signed Mutual Legal Assistance Agreements to ensure that there is no hiding place for fugitives.
‘’This Administration has therefore focused on revamping the ailing economy it inherited in 2015. In 2016, Government executed an expansionary budget and developed the Strategic Implementation Plan.
For the first time, 30% of the budget was earmarked for capital expenditure which represents an upward review when compared with the 2015 budget.
The SIP was followed by the development of a comprehensive medium term plan – the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017 – 2020’’.
The president added that the Sovereign Wealth Fund project portfolio under his watch has expanded with an injection of US$650 million so as to strengthen its investment in local infrastructure, power, health, reconstruction of Abuja-Kano road, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, East West Road (Section V) and the Mambilla Hydro-electric Power project as well as the construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge.
But the opposition PDP in its reaction by its National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, said that never again would a non-democrat be given access to power like President Buhari to put the country in such jeopardy.
According to the PDP National Chairman in a statement by his media aide, Ike Abonyi, Nigerians are anxiously looking forward to the opportunity to dispense with the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC and the President.
The opposition party added that “no line in the supposed Democracy Day Address” did the President address the issue of justice for victims of human rights abuses, illegal arrests and detentions as well as killings in Benue, Taraba, Zamfara, Kaduna, Plateau, Borno, Kogi and Yobe States, amongst sundry infractions.
“Mr. President, on Democracy Day, had no words of assurance on the unrelenting violation of our constitution; assault on the National Assembly and erosion of personal freedom of citizens.
“Mr. President’s handlers chose to subject him to a fantasy trip, making false performance claims with phantom projects, muddling up economic statistics and ended up worsening his already diminished public perception.
“PDP notes the fact that the President had no committing words towards the conduct of free, fair and credible 2019 general elections, apparently overwhelmed by the avalanche of his public rejection ahead of the polls,” the party stated, adding that it was largely due to the aforementioned missteps that it “advised President Buhari not to border to address Nigerians on Democracy Day”.
Secondus urged Nigerians to take their destiny in their hands by collecting and properly using their PVCs to save democracy and indeed save Nigeria.
“If Democracy must survive in our country, we must do away with APC and Nigerians are ready and willing to do just that because they cherish democracy as the best form of government.
“Going by their poor record of performance in the last 36 months, and the determination of Nigerians to put the country in the right footing, this is the last Democracy Day this President will mark.
“Their agenda now is to intimidate, harass and scare opponents to create a Police state with the aim of turning the country into one party state but it must be resisted by Nigerians who passed similar road before and came out victorious.”
When contacted over the issue, the Director, Strategic Communications for President Buhari 2019 presidential campaign, Mr Festus Keyamo (SAN), faulted the claim of Secondus, insisting that Buhari will have an easy win in 2019 and will return to power.
Keyamo added that the voice of Secondus does not represent the voice of the masses.
The senior advocate said, ‘’The voice of Secondus represent the voice of the PDP which has died long ago in the minds of Nigerians.
“Secondus is speaking for the dead and not the living. He should know that Buhari will have an easy contest and return to power in 2019.”